Rising above the Storm

With Hurricane Joaquin sweeping across the Bahamas, I was inspired to look back at art created after other disasters.  The first article describes the “After Effects” exhibition, an exhibition inspired by Hurricane Sandy that features “36 storm-inspired works by 23 artists.”  Artists came to the realization that while many of their studios and galleries were damaged, the tragedy also served as inspiration.

Take, for example, Coke Wisdom O’Neal.  O’Neal’s studio was swamped by 9 feet of water.  However, O’Neal saw the silver lining, saying, “The storm destroyed tools, books, old artwork, drawings and unfinished work. They now feel to me like objects that were holding me back from going forward.”  These inspiring words, to me, encompass the persistence of the human spirit.  It also shows that everyone makes a choice.  They can wallow in self-pity or find the good in the destruction and come out on top.

The second article describes Beauty Amid Destruction, a group that launched a public arts project following the tornadoes that struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2011. By creating 4ft x 6ft art banners and installing them throughout the 7 mile track of destruction, the group offered comfort and hope to those in Tuscaloosa.  I have attached some pictures below.

“After Effects” article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/after-effects-exhibit-sandy_n_2625132.html

Beauty Amid Destruction article: http://blog.al.com/upbeat/2011/08/beauty_amid_destruction.html

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